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Fort Coffee VFD faces negligence suit in March fire

November 3, 2012

By Kim Ross
PDN Reporter
A Fort Coffee woman is suing
the community volunteer fire
department for what she contends
is negligence that led to fire consuming
her home.
Ester Clayton, 82, of Fort Coffee
filed a civil lawsuit against the
Fort Coffee Fire Department on
Thursday, asking for more than
$10,000 in damages to her home
which resulted from an earlier
controlled burn started by the fire
department on March 3.
According to the petition,
Clayton contends that the fire
department burned an abandoned
mobile home located next to
Clayton’s home at 18290 First St.
Clayton said the fire department
failed to properly extinguish the
fire before they left the fire unattended.
The petition shows that
three hours later the fire rekindled
and, due to windy conditions,
spread to Clayton’s home and
another building.
The fire department responded to Clayton’s home but was
unable to save the burning
structure. The home and
the all its contents were
reportedly destroyed.
Clayton claims that she
had just completed renovations
and remodeling work
to the home and had prepared
it for rental.
Clayton is suing the fire
department contending that
they were negligent in conducting
the controlled burn
on a windy day and failing
to properly extinguish the
blaze.
Clayton is asking for
judgment against the fire
department for damage and
loss of her home and property
including contents,
loss of rent, clean-up
expenses. She is also asking
for compensatory damages
for physical and emotional
pain and suffering
and for the cost of the lawsuit
including attorney’s
fees.
Attempts to contact Fort
Coffee Fire Chief Mike
Walker and Mayor DeNay
Burris to seek comment on
the lawsuit were unsuccessful

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